News: Savings figures indicate a lean Christmas

Britons may be heading for a lean Christmas with savings levels having fallen 20% over the last three months according to latest research from Birmingham Midshires' Saving Britain campaign.

The study has found that Britons saved an average of £413 since July, the lowest amount this year.

Across the generations, those in the 30 to 50 year age group were the most prudent savers in the third quarter of 2006, as they managed to put away £464. In comparison, those aged over 50 saved £423, while the under thirties managed only £295.

The over fifties are currently sitting on a nest egg of £16,001 compared with those in their thirties and forties who have an average savings balance of £9,592 and under thirties who have just £3,128.

Jason Robinson, director of savings operations for Birmingham Midshires commented on the findings: "Looking at current levels of savings, it would appear that many Britons may have started spending for Christmas early, and so savings have fallen by the wayside slightly.”

“Christmas is a great time to spend with family and friends and we want people to relax and enjoy themselves. But what we would say is make sure you've still got one eye on the amount that you spend so that the start of 2007 can still be fruitful."

The report - which probes the nation's savings habits each quarter - unearthed a widening gap in savings patterns between men and women. This latest report has found that 41% of women have no savings at all and those that do have a nest egg have less than half as much as men tucked away (£14,762 versus £6,854). Over the last three months, women saved just £232 compared to the healthier £612 squirreled away by men.

Key findings around the regions:

  • Over the third quarter of 2006 Londoners saved the most at £511, whilst Scots saved the least (£327).
  • Those living in Scotland are most likely to have savings (66% have a nest egg) but their Northern neighbours are least likely to have savings (42% have no savings at all). 
  • Londoners have the most in liquid savings of all the regions (£14,456) whilst Scots have the least (£8,319).

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